The Two Most Productive Hours of the Day

According to an article I saw in a tweet by one of my classmates, people are wired to be most productive in the two hours after they first wake up in the morning. Despite this, though, we often waste these two hours, or disrupt our body’s natural cycle as we check our phones, our emails, our social media accounts, and everything else shortly after we wake up. These digital forms of entertainment aren’t always welcome, and–just as some people say we shouldn’t use electronics in the hour before bed–maybe we shouldn’t use them in the morning hours, either.


But, despite all the advice against it, people are still turning to their smartphones first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed, seeking all the entertainment and information that they can quickly find at their fingertips. And, after all, this makes sense: as Chris Anderson points out, humans are turning away from the Internet and to the ease and convenience that apps and smartphones offer us.

According to the article I read, though, we’re supposed to stray away from the seductive call of these apps when we wake up, as well as to other mindless tasks: using them so early in the morning can actually be destructive to our productivity. iphone

Essentially, that means no video games–however thought-engaging and provoking people may claim them to be–no early morning TV, no Internet, and definitely no smart phone.

Beyond this, even, using our smartphone can just slow us down in general: we may take longer showers, spend longer in the bathroom, and even eat more.

As Kevin Kelly points out, we are turning into a culture that is centered around the screen, and it is in turn affecting all our aspects of our lives, and not for the better. The smartphone and digital technology have improved several aspects of people’s lives; however, we must make sure that we are using them in ways that help us, not that hurt us. As entertaining as we may find them to be, they are in actuality distractions, and we must keep this in mind as we decide when and how we will use our technologies.


Starvids App Narrative

Carly Norman:

J.D. Bolter once stated, “…we seem more impressed by the impermanence and changeability of text, and digital technology seems to reduce the distance between the author and reader by turning the reader into an author herself.” The purpose of Starvids is to do just that. Users create multi-genre mixed media to generate inspiration. You may sign up or log in with Facebook or Twitter.

Welcome to Starvids. Using the search bar, you can find posts to view. When searching, you will come across media from other Starvids users that have tagged the keyword in their post. In Michael Wesch’s YouTube video, “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube,” he speaks of fame stemming from outlets of social media. We hope that this App will become a popular outlet of social media and recognition will derive from these searches.

The functions of the toolbar are Home, Categories, Friends and Me. Much like the writing app, Mindly, Starvids organizes creativity in a visual context. Mindly is used to spark inspiration using one’s own organized ideas and Starvids can do the same by being a provider of inspiration for writing. Inspiration can stem from your own posts or other’s.

In the Friends tab, you may click the connected tab to see whom you are already friends with; you can click connecting to see pending requests. You may also connect with your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account.  In relation to DeVoss and Porter’s article, “Why Napster matters to writing…”, this option gives you the liberty to chose who you are sharing ideas with. The sharing is consensual; you decide who can view your files or posts.

When you click the collaborate circle on the home screen, you will be able to create media in collaboration with another user. You will be prompted to type in the other user’s name and once they accept your offer to collaborate, you will be connected. The format is much like a google.doc in which both members can work simultaneously. There is also a chat screen provided at the bottom of the page.

Liz Romeo:

The “create” button of the app opens into a screen that allows the users to decide whether to take a picture or a video. As Kevin Kelly points out, we are creatures of the screen, and “cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers.” Our app allows people to create their own sort of entertainment in the form of films and images with new and innovative features that other apps do not have.

If the user chooses to create a picture, the app opens into a camera screen in which the user has the option to either select an image from their camera roll, or to take a new photo. StarVids was created in light of the dynamic and shared nature of the Web 2.0, and so users are able to share their own images and use already shared images.

The next page of the app offers the user a variety of filters that they can add to their image. At this point, as well as all points in the creation process, StarVids allows users to save their work to go back to later. Like the app “A Novel Idea,” this lets users express their creativity whenever ideas strike.

Users then have the option to add a sound effect to their image. These effects add another dimension to the image that most apps do not, and include sounds like thunder, applause, and more. As DeVoss and Porter point out, “people do not make new works out of nothing. They borrow…and massage fragments into new works.” Our app acknowledges this fact, allowing users to piece together a work in various steps.

The final option for editing images allows the users to add words to their image. Like Bolter discusses in regards to the remediation of print, writing is no longer simply about the text; rather, the most successful writing of today and the future will incorporate traditional methods of writing with images and/or sound, which our app allows users to do. StarVids isn’t just about sharing pictures on social media; it’s about creating art of the future in the form of writing, images, and sound.

Crystal Yeung

If the user chose the video button it will take the user to the video page which is similar to the picture section. Here they are allowed to take a video or choose a previously taken video from the computer. According to Bolter remediation is when new technology replace previous technology.

The next page is the filter page where you can add filters to your video and it lets users use their creativity and make the video their own. According to Anthropological Introduction to YouTube there are 9323 hours of video being uploaded a day.

The following page of the app will allow user crop their videos and take our parts that they dont want in the video.. After that is the audio page where they can add audio into the video which includes applause, claps,boos etc.

The last page is the text page where users can add words to their videos. Her you can add different style of text to your video and this like previously mention will help students writing.


Kyle Hamilton:

The sharing feature of Starvids is perhaps one of the most vital functions of the app because without being able to share what you’ve created then it just sits there on your smartphone making no difference to the world. This app offers 5 outlets for sharing the public options are Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. If you want to share your video privately you can do so via either text messaging the video or attaching the video to an e-mail.

When looking at the app In terms of remediation which is covered by Bolter, the sharing function of this app remediates sharing by offering both public and private access to this media whereas most sharing options on other apps mostly allow for only public sharing.

DeVoss and Porter speak on many issues regarding Napster and file sharing. The biggest issue would have to be about copyright and ownership. Once again though our app allows protection so that if you want your Starvid to be public you would post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube and if you want it to be private you can send it via text, e-mail, or you can choose to keep the Starvid on your phone.

In Michael Wesch’s anthropological introduction to YouTube he showed how one person from New Jersey changed Youtube forever when he recorded himself doing what later came to be known as the “Numa Numa Dance”.  We still find ourselves to this day affected by this video as we continue to feel the need to produce videos of ourselves set to various different styles of music. The sharing feature of Starvids and any other app exist today because of the trend set by that one guy from Jersey.

Michael Fotos:

Users have the ability to explore content created by fellow users. You may use the search bar if you have a specific user or tag you are interested in viewing. Users also have access to the latest and most watched videos in given categories. These help define your interest and what Sherry Turkle calls one’s online persona.

All videos have listed the videographer, the number of views, favorites and the title associated with the piece. Below the video you will find an about section detailing the importance or purpose of the video as well as any extra information or plugs used to network and support an artist’s work. Users also may view comments with the name of the respected commenter’s username and a list of tags. This form of networking and commenting remediates the medium of video or movie review in magazines.

Profiles are used to share a user’s persona by providing a profile picture and name. Users with profiles have access to visual design settings to further individualize themselves.

To add, file sharing as discussed by DeVoss and Porter must be protected, so users have options to set their artwork as public, private (among a group of select users) or saved in which only the artists will be able to view the piece.

Creating a portfolio of work will provide a showcase of your creativity and individuality to the world and connect you with other personae that help prompt additional work, strengthen skills and network.


Starvids App Rationale

According to Chris Anderson’s “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet,” the Internet is no longer the sole provider of information and entertainment, but rather, people are turning to apps. In light of this change, Spark My Mind has designed Starvids, an app that is targeted for artists in the 12-29 age group that promotes the creation of entertainment in the form of mixed media.

The purpose of this app is to allow users to share information as well as to design creative and aesthetically impacting videos and collages that incorporate professional effects and features . This app differs from others in that it gives users the ability to exercise the art of creation and production of creative media.

By combining media to create a cohesive project, Starvids has an advantage over other single media apps.  This allows for more complex messages to be portrayed and more thoughts conveyed to audiences.

This app advocates individual and collaborative art. As an individual you can use audio, video and images acquired, created or uploaded by users but when you choose to work collaboratively users gain insight, commentary and collective ideas from contributing users.

StarVids provides users with a network of sharing communities that allows them to express their individuality, persona and creativity. Art may be shared with a variety of different communities across multiple forms of social media.

The Mindly writing app allows users to organize ideas in a unique format that integrates a visual with thoughts to encourage motivation. StarVids accomplishes the same task by detailing creative progression via notification and commentary of works in progress.

-A collaborative post

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director’s Cut just came out for the Ipad and is available in the app store for $6.99. For those of you who enjoyed playing Dungeons and Dragon as a child or Shadowrun or any other role-playing games that need pen, paper, a rulebook that transfer us to an alternate world than this game is for you.

The game is set in a near-future dystopia world with magic and it meets William Gibson style of cyberpunk. You get to create your own character and can choose from variety of classes and races. You will have to use strategic thinking to get through it.

Combat is a great time, but don't expect an easy waltz through your enemies. Photo: Harebrained Schemes

In Semiotic domains: Is playing video games a “waste of time”? byJ.p Gee talks about whether or not video games is a waste of our time and goes into detail on why it isn’t which I agree to a extent. Like what is said in the article video games teaches problem solving and critical thinking skills. I believe that any games can teach you something whether it is good or bad. Growing up I played a lot of role-playing games but also loved playing games that made me think and have me solve series of problems which  in my opinion is a skill that is good for children to learn how to do.

The Pros of Social Media

Everyone has a form of social media these days whether it is a youtube account or a facebook account. Social media is something that is used to communicate with people around the world or you can reconnect with old friends that you haven’t talked to in a while. But, what if you can use social media to promote your writing? In The Art of Social Media for Writers by Peg Fitzpatrick talks about how to use social media to promote your writing. He gives you tips on posting on twitter as well as what pictures to post on Instagram. Here are some tips he posted for twitter.

A few Twitter tips:

  • Share a wide variety of content in your subject matter. Videos, articles, photos etc.
  • Don’t share only tweets about your book. That’s a huge turnoff for anyone looking at your Twitter stream.
  • Follow an interesting array of people and create Twitter lists to keep track of your favorite Twitter pals.
  • Use the #FridayReads hashtag to connect with readers globally each week. Do I need to remind you not to recommend your own book? Be generous and recommend a book that you love.

Goodreads is another social media that is great to promote authors work. It is a way for authors to create a good author profile which includes your biography, links to website and/or blog and other things like that. Here is a link to Goodreads guide on building a author profile.

Youtube is another popular social media that everyone use. Videos are created every second of the day and alot of people use it to promote their work whether it is authors or atists. In An anthropological introduction to YouTube talks about how Youtube is used for anything. He talks about the Numa Numa dance which is just a guy dancing in front of a webcam but it became viral over the world and millions of people started dancing it and recording it as well. This is an example, how anything you post on social media can spread around the world.

Word Up!

Tweeter and language enthusiast, Samantha Regina, has shared an article with her followers that may tickle your fancy if you have studied a language and have truly appreciated the diversity of distinctions made available through the power of the word.

The article listed above poses a strong question, “why should I care about languages other than my own?” Surely, languages die out all the time. Many are widely unknown by most of the world’s population. They may seem insignificant, but they offer something particularly interesting. Allow me to explain with an example.

Often times, my family will discuss a particularly funny joke or play on words in spanish. There have been times when discussing these comical word choices in front of non-spanish speaking individuals in which we are asked for clarification. When translated, the joke is lost. Now, spanish won’t be going anywhere for quite some time, but when it is extinct, so is the joke, as well as the beautiful poems, the romantic ways to describe architecture and the intoxicating sound of a rolling “ere”.

To add, languages have attributes that induce culture or technique. For example, some people who speak other languages tend to think faster because the language requires faster speech. Omitting languages can make the act of thinking potentially slowly, especially if the approved language is english.

The article list clear examples such as “Russian speakers are on average 124 milliseconds faster than English speakers at identifying when dark blue shades into light blue.” This is a distinction that would be lost without the Russian language.This makes language Anthropological, old and new, share-able, adaptable.                                                                 

Digital Educations

Tweeter, Carly Norman, has tweeted about digital gaming and how it can be used as a tool to help educate the youth.

The article listed in Norman’s tweet discusses an interesting statistic. According to the article “games [are] equally effective as conventional instruction and a third found games more effective.”

Now, I have had this argument with my parents in the past. I believed that video games rotted my brothers’ minds. They seem as though they mindlessly compete in the same challenges over and over. I insisted that this was useless time wasted; however, if games required math to complete levels and compete against rivals, then the repetition isn’t as useless as assumed.

The article discusses a game in which gamers use math to slay zombies. This is an amazing way to incorporate learning with the popular genre loved by children today. 

Personally, I enjoy a game called Plague Inc. It is a numbers game that requires thinking ahead, critical thinking, and problem solving to control the world’s population.

Games such as these have the potential to ensure young students are exercising specific academic skills. This can be but is not limited to spelling, times tables, studying science or history facts, and much more.

The issue with using games is finding the right game to use in given situations. There must be a lot of research put into creating games because if teachers begin to rely on them, we must be positive that results will increase intellect or quickness or strength in problem solving.